| 17 Feb 2015 | 04:43

    REAL ESTATE ROYALTY Growing up in New York City, Susan M. de Franca got a firsthand look at real estate. The oldest of four sisters, she grew up in a real estate family with a father who was a real estate owner and manager, and a mother who was a residential real estate broker. "I suppose you can say that real estate is in my blood," de Franca said Since then, de Franca has become a force of her own in the New York City real estate world. She has held positions at a number of firms during her 20-plus-year career, working on prestigious projects like the residences at the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle and the sale of luxury high-rise homes throughout the city. As president of Related Residential Sales, LLC, a subsidiary of Related Companies, L.P., she is trusted by many to find the ideal New York home, a credit to her professional expertise and personable character. De Franca attended St. Jean Baptiste High School and received her bachelor's of science in business management and marketing from St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. She went on to study real estate appraisal, finance and investment at Marymount Manhattan College. Her first job in the business was at Sulzberger-Rolfe in 1979, while she was still in college; but her career truly began taking shape in 1981 at the M.J. Raynes Development Corporation, where she oversaw the firm's entire residential portfolio of co-ops and condominium conversion properties. In 1997, de Franca joined the Sunshine Group, Ltd., dealing with the marketing and sales of luxury real estate. It was at Sunshine that she began to establish connections with Related by working with the company on its first luxury condominium property, The Chatham, at 181 E. 65th St. The successful collaboration prompted Related to develop its own sales and marketing division, and de Franca was chosen to create the division's team. Now as the president of marketing and sales, de Franca takes charge of marketing and sales strategies for Related's luxury condominium properties in the firm's nationwide portfolio. De Franca considers the position unique because the team is a driving factor in the design and development process. Although currently an Upper East Sider, de Franca's work has led her to several high-profile West Side developments in addition to Time Warner Center, including The Harrison, at 205 W. 76th St. and Amsterdam Avenue. Related has also recently broken ground on a development at West 42nd Street, which de Franca says, "promises to be sensational." To de Franca, now in her 40s, whether she is setting an example as a role model to her 16-year-old daughter or as a player in her field, reputation is everything. "Reputation is everything to me, and I wanted to join a company that had the kind of reputation Related does," she said. "Our mantra is to do the right thing and exceed customers' expectations"-an ideal de Franca strives to embody every day.